7 thoughts on “Cape Meares Lighthouse

  1. The Lighthouse
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
    and on its outer point, some miles away,
    the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
    A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

    Even at this distance I can see the tides,
    Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
    A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
    in the white tip and tremor of the face.

    And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
    through the deep purple of the twilight air,
    Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
    with strange, unearhly splendor in the glare!

    No one alone: from each projecting cape
    And perilous reef along the ocean’s verge,
    Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
    Holding its lantern o’er the restless surge.

    Like the great giant Christopher it stands
    Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
    Wading far out among the rocks and sands,
    The night o’er taken mariner to save.

    And the great ships sail outward and return
    Bending and bowing o’er the billowy swells,
    And ever joyful, as they see it burn
    They wave their silent welcome and farewells.

    They come forth from the darkness, and their sails
    Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
    And eager faces, as the light unveils
    Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

    The mariner remembers when a child,
    on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink
    And when returning from adventures wild,
    He saw it rise again o’er ocean’s brink.

    Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
    Year after year, through all the silent night
    Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
    Shines on that inextinguishable light!

    It sees the ocean to its bosum clasp
    The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace:
    It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,
    And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

    The startled waves leap over it; the storm
    Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
    And steadily against its solid form
    press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

    The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din
    of wings and winds and solitary cries,
    Blinded and maddened by the light within,
    Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

    A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,
    Still grasping in his hand the fire of love,
    it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,
    but hails the mariner with words of love.

    “Sail on!” it says: “sail on, ye stately ships!
    And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
    Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse.
    Be yours to bring man neared unto man.

  2. Thanks Zooey for the glimpse of the Pacific…
    Looks breezy and perhaps a little cool.

    Seeing a ground level light reminded me of the story of Jersey Shore pirates who lit large bonfires on the beach just inshore from a rocky reef…

  3. Very interesting history, thanks for that link.

    I’ve had the opportunity to look at several Fresnel lenses, both on the East Coast and the Great Lakes.
    The craftsmanship and precision which allows an oil lamp to be seen for miles never ceases to amaze me.

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